Imagine that Monsters University was your dream school. The only college you really wanted to go to.  Top choice. None to compare.

And then, your absolute worst nightmare (as if living and dining at Monsters U wouldn't be scary enough): You are notified by admissions that you are on the wait list.

Nooooooooooooo. It can't possibly be. After all, those awful monsters in your AP Bio class got in. And to the School of Science, no less! You visited -- and fell in love with -- the campus. You met with the faculty. You even knew which Sorority you were going to pledge for.

What's a high school senior to do?

Well, first off, take a deep breath. In or out, the world doesn't end at the gates of Monsters University. There are other colleges and universities of at least equal stature and certain merit, some of which are willing to welcome you with open arms (not to mention open pockets, to be lined with what seems like your very last dollar).

And perhaps this is as good a time as any to interject here, as you feel that bubble bursting, heart-breaking, gut wrenching knot in the pit of your stomach. Wouldn't you rather go to a college that wants you, needs you, adores you right off the bat, than one that offers, at best, a lukewarm maybe?

But we digress.

Waitlisted. Okay. You send your updated scores and grades to admissions. Let them know about that First Place in the Math Olympiads that somehow escaped your application. One more letter of recommendation. Maybe, to all of those. Perhaps a brief love note reminding them of your keen, if not undying interest, is your best bet. Otherwise, as the name implies, all you can do is, um, wait.

Of course, as they chose not to invite you to the dance straight out, you might just want to tell them, "thanks but no thanks. I've made other plans." We know. That's not a likely scenario for most 17 year olds.

You've given it your all (assuming you want to take a hail Mary shot from mid-court). So, you wait, and wait, and... Well, you know the routine. Or, as The College Whisperer often advises his students, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on. You're way too good for that indecisive college, anyway!

Assuming, for argument sake, that you reallllllllly want to go to Monsters U. What more can you do? Send chocolates to the Dean of Admissions? Sky write over the campus? Have dear old Dad write a check to fund an endowment for the next hundred years? Well, no.

In fact, The New York Times addressed this very issue in, On A College Waiting List? Sending Cookies Isn't Going To Help. Then again, eating those cookies yourself, or woofing down a half gallon of your favorite ice cream, may not help you get in either, but, hey, nothing like burying that sorrow under mounds of Forbidden Chocolate smothered in hot fudge. :-)

Anyway, for those still waiting to hear from that wonderful college that dared to put you (of all people) on that dreaded wait list (much like Jay Gatsby waiting for that telephone call from Daisy), you can continue to wait (probably not worth it), or you can actually go to that school you already committed to (albeit reluctantly) on May 1. And when you do, it won't take long for you to realize that you landed where you truly belong. At the real dream college. [Just be sure to check for monsters under the dorm room bed!] No waiting required!

Plan. Prepare. Prevail!  

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

Who knows what peril lurks in the college application and admissions process? The College Whisperer knows. . .

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